Sous Vide Steaks
Meat Hacks: Sous Vide Steak
Learn about Sous Vide Cooking a Steak with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
Is Sous Vide the best way to cook Steak?
Most of you who have watched any of our past videos or read my posts on meatgistics.com about steaks know that I am huge proponent of the reverse sear method of cooking steaks, of everything I have tried it has given me the best and most consistent results. Today we are going to try something that I’ve been told will have a real chance at changing my mind.
You might have seen a few videos showing cooking sous vide steak already and we don’t want to do the same old thing so we are going to see what the difference is when we sous vide a steak for 24 hours, 8 hr, 4 hrs or 1 hr. I have a feeling the 24 hour one is going to be overly tender, though that sounds insane to say. So we have vacuum packed 4 steaks and have them all set to be done at the same time.
Sous Vide cooking operates off a similar theory as the reverse searing method but it does seem to have some advantages. With reverse searing we start our steak off in an oven or grill at low temperatures for around an hour or until the internal temp is about 125ish degrees. We then pull it from the oven or grill and finish it up in a pan or hot grill to sear the outside. Sous Vide does the same thing but it uses water as the heat source and since the steak will be vacuum packed we will probably lose even less juice during this stage. Another advantage is that we can leave the steak in there pretty much as long as we want, in fact the longer the steak sits in there the more tender it will be as the heat will continue to break down the collagen and proteins. Then we sear it for a minute or two a side and we should end up with a perfectly cooked steak.
The 24 hour steak ended up tasting more like a roast than a steak. It was still very good and it was incredibly tender but it no longer tasted like steak.
The 8 hour steak was just about perfect, it was extremely tender and had a great taste. You could really almost cut this steak with a fork.
The 4 hour steak was very similar to the 8 hour steak, maybe not as tender but still more tender than the reverse sear method and had a great taste.
The 1 hour steak had a significant texture difference from the others. It was more like something that was cooked on the grill, this was the only one that was clearly less tender than the reverse sear method.
So the answer to the question of is Sous Vide really better than the Reverse Seared Method is, mostly yes. The optimal time seems to be somewhere between 4-8 hours for tenderness and taste. Even a perfectly reverse seared steak will have some gradient from brown to pink around the edges. With the Sous Vide Cooker you get your thin crust and then perfectly pink inside all the way through!
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dennishoddy last edited by
Sous Vide is the only way we do steaks now.
4 hours is the max as after that it just gets too tender. As meatgistisc said, it turns into a roads that has been overcooked.
We use our slow cooker with a temp controller for a cheap version of the commercial model.
This unit is under $40. Its very accurate for keeping the water temps within 1 degree.
Its also capable of being calibrated if your don’t trust it. We have one and love it.
Thanks for doing the Sous Vide video, I agree it is the only way I will ever cooks steaks again… but, that being said, it is capable of so much more than just being a “boil in bag” cooker…
I am assuming that like most supermarket meat today you were using “choice grade” meat… At a 4 hr cook time you have broken down sufficient connective tissue in the steak to actually elevate it’s tenderness to just about the level of a piece of prime beef. If instead you had started with a piece of prime or wagu, you would want to cut back to the 1 hr. cook time…
One of my favorite meals is prime rib… when you can actually find a piece of “prime”, as well as afford it… I have been able to virtually duplicate the taste and texture of a prime rib roast using a boneless chuck roast (choice), placed in the SV for about 18 hours… since the chuck is a tougher piece of meat, the longer cooking time will bring the texture into the range of some of the most tender prime rib you have ever tried, but since it’s a tougher piece of meat 18 hours wont turn it into a piece of pot roast (I’ve gone 24+ hours and at that point the meat does degrade to the consistency of mush).
Also, Annova seems to have written the most common SV cookbook on the internet at this time… I would be careful using their recipes as I have not found them to be that good… Their corned beef recipe calls for adding stout beer to the bag (big mistake, it tasted terrible), it also called for cooking for 48 hours… We ended up with very mushy meat that just did not cut it… although I added some potatoes and onions the next day and it ended up being the perfect consistancy for corned beef hash (but still had that stout flavor…blech!)
I SV’d a batch of breakfast sausage I made, and it came out ok, but not great… I tried a 2nd batch and only left it in for about 1/2 hr @ 135… it came out only part cooked, but when I finished it in a 400 degree oven, it was INCREDIBLE!!!
I’ve only had mine since Nov, and have been experimenting with various meats, eggs, veggies, etc… also incorporating it in conjunction with the smoker… There is definitely a learning curve, but it’s worth it!!!
@raider2119 sGreat post! We were talking about Prime Rib here and how it would be if we Sous Vide it so we will definitely do some testing on that, thanks for the advice and maybe we will do a side by side comparison of Chuck in Sous Vide vs normal Prime Rib?
You bring up a great point on the Waygu or Prime. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable enough yet doing Waygu this way, I’ve just had way too good of results with traditionally methods of cooking that to risk doing anything else. Specifically longer cook times, even at lower temps would make me nervous that I would somehow destroy the marbling and tenderness, maybe I will try it some day if I ever have a bunch more Waygu (I can only dream for that to happen again!)
Thanks for the input on the Breakfast Sausage, we had also been wondering about that. We sous vide some pepperoni the other day (smoked the rest) and the taste was amazing but the texture and appearance were all wrong, just FYI for anyone thinking about trying that!
Just so you know, in case you were looking for it and couldn’t find it, the ingredients are listed on the products web page. Just scroll down and click the “Additional Info” tab and it will show up.
The W Summer (4550300082) might be the most mild of all the ones you listed. That doesn’t make it bad at all just a very mild flavor
Summer 107 (4550300032) Similar to H, contains mustard seed but I don’t think it is whole.
Summer Sausage Seasoning (4550300012) Very similar to the 107 in flavor, has whole mustard seed.
H - Summer (G4550300070) is our best selling Summer Sausage Seasoning, contains whole mustard seed. If you are looking for a peppery seasoning this is the best one to use for a base and add some black pepper. This would be the basic summer seasoning favored by most employees and customer.
Another option, if you are making 100 lb batches or don’t mind breaking down the seasoning into smaller batches, would be the Ton’s Summer Seasoning (4550806642) It has a very good flavor and is pretty peppery if I remember correctly, I pepper is listed higher in the ingredients list than any of the others… Of all of the basic Summer Sausage seasonings (excluding ones like Jalapeno and Habanero BBQ) this is the second best scoring one amongst employees.
@tincuptom i can only speak to the H summer sausage seasoning, but it has a lot better taste than the backwoods. Not a lot of pepper (you could add more I am sure) but it is a good solid flavor profile. I did not use the ECA for the tang, but plan on doing it this week in a batch. You can’t go wrong with the H seasoning!
I have been in search for a summer sausage seasoning with black pepper but couldn’t find one. I’m new at this so the H Summer Sausage is the only one I have used so I can’t give you any comparisons with the other 3, but you mentioned black pepper so thought I would share my first experience.
So I used Waltons H Summer Sausage and mixed in about a quarter cup of fine black pepper. I liked the results and several others did as well. It had a light pepper taste and I probably will add a little more in the next batch for a slightly stronger flavor. I used 25 lbs of venison and 4lbs of beef fat to keep it on the leaner side. Good luck, Bob
thanks. As it turned out I did use a pork butt, cost only $1.48/# on sale and pork fat appears to be running about 50 cents more. Pure fat is a lot harder to come by, guessing because there is just less of it – supply and demand. One recipe I was using called out pork fat and I directly substituted the ground pork butt and it tasted fine even at a 25% ratio. The other sausage experimental batch I made with 50% and it is even better. So, 50/50 is the future now. thanks for your input folks!
@Jeff-Allen While the 26 and 33 lb sausage stuffers absolutely will make 19mm snack sticks the reduced size of the piston on the 11 lb model does make it easier. I have made snack sticks with all of the sizes and especially when you are working by yourself the 11 lb is easier to do.